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Apple Music pays out one cent per stream

There’s no denying that streaming music (and streaming media in general) has become the go-to way to consume content for a lot of people. Which means it really matters how much a service pays towards the folks putting content on those services.

According to a letter that Apple aims to share with artists today via Apple Music for Artists (via The Wall Street Journal), the company pays out more than its primary competitor Spotify. Specifically, it turns out Apple Music pays one cent per stream. Based on the original report, that means Apple Music pays roughly double what Spotify pays per stream, with the largest streamer doling out one-third to one-half penny per stream.

Interestingly, that one penny per stream payout appears to be the “norm”, but the report also cites industry experts that say those payments can dip below that, too.

Apple’s letter notes that the payments come from the company’s streaming revenue. The letter says Apple pays out 52% of subscription revenue, or about 52 cents per dollar, to music rights holders and labels. In turn, those entities pay artists based on existing negotiations and contracts. So while Apple Music technically pays out one cent per stream, artists might not see that full amount.

It’s worth noting that while Spotify and Apple Music are direct competitors, they are very different services. Namely, Spotify has an existing, gigantic ad-supported option that doesn’t rely on monthly subscriptions from users. Apple Music does not have such an option. What’s more, Spotify has more than 340 million total users, with 155 million paying for Spotify Premium.

Meanwhile, Apple Music’s last report on that matter saw the service at “over 60 million” back in June of 2019.

Do you use Apple Music because it pays out more towards artists and labels and music rights holders? Or is that something you don’t really take into account when considering where you listen to your music?

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